The Venstar ColorTouch Thermostat is a touch screen thermostat with online capabilities using the SkyPort Wi-Fi Key so you can adjust your homes heating and cooling from anywhere you can get cellphone or internet service.
Ease of Use, Performance: 3/5
Look & Feel: 3/5
How much I enjoy 4/5
Total: 3.5/5 Stars
The Venstar ColorTouch T5800 Thermostat is a digital touch screen thermostat that can also be used with the Skyport Wi-Fi key for online connectivity to adjust your homes heating and cooling from afar. The T5800 costs about $180 and the separate Wi-Fi key costs about $70 but allows homeowners to adjust the temperature from the internet connected computer or a smartphone.
The Venstar T5800 uses touch screen control for setting the daily schedule for heating and cooling times during the day but you can also do this from a computer. The T5800 uses an SD card to update the settings, save current settings on your computer and upload images for the screensaver/picture frame feature.
The T5800 has a program called ColorTouch Assistant that is installed on a computer that allows you to adjust settings like daily schedules to set heating and cooling temperatures. Instead of setting the daily times and temps you want your furnace and air conditioner to be working on the touch screen you can set all the settings on your computer and transfer them to the thermostat using an SD card.
This is not to be confused with the Wi-Fi key and Skyport feature that only allows you to change the current heating or cooling setting from an internet connected device or to get usage statistics in a handy chart form. The SkyPort feature is more of a handy way to change only the current setting due to drastic changes in the weather for added control.
The T5800 also has the nice touch screen that you can upload pictures to and even contains a set of themes for play during the day as a slideshow using an SD card and the ColorTouch Assistant. I really like the touch screen for setting the schedule as you don’t have to keep pressing through sets of numbers to get daily heating and cooling temperatures set up.
The T5800 also has information about energy usage on the thermostat itself or in conjunction with the Wi-Fi key and the Skyport internet connected feature. The usage and runtime information is a handy way to keep up to date with the heating and cooling usage for a good estimate of cost for the upcoming bill.
The T5800 can be used in conjunction with the Wi-Fi key that connects the thermostat to your network for adjustment of the thermostat from a smartphone or an internet connected device. You can use an Android, Blackberry, or Apple smartphones or tablets as well as a Mac or Windows PC to connect to your thermostat to control the home environment.
The T5800 installs fairly easily if you are simply replacing another powered thermostat but may require some extra wiring if you do not have 24 volts AC going to your thermostat. My home recently received an upgrade with a new boiler but the thermostat for it is a simple on off analog one that does not have a power wire going to it.
I needed to add a 24 volt line to the new thermostat but I also had to add a small relay device at the boiler to use with my new thermostat because of the type of boiler setup I have. My boiler uses a simple open or closed circuit to turn the boiler on and off and not a voltage to the boiler like many new systems will have.
If your home has a voltage line going to the thermostat from the furnace or from a transformer somewhere in your electrical wiring the thermostat will work just fine as it is. If your system has no voltage going to the furnace or boiler at all like some older models or ones with very simple wiring setups you can still use the T5800 but you will need a relay which is available from Venstar.
Venstar was happy to give me a relay to wire in but I put the relay in wrong due to the wiring schematic that came with the relay which was a bit confusing. This caused the safety wiring in the boiler to blow and required me to buy a simple and inexpensive part for the boiler but all was well in the end.
If you’re replacing a thermostat on your boiler or furnace and are unsure if the Venstar thermostat will work you can call in a professional to help you which would be good advice if you are unsure of how to wire the new thermostat. I did not have a problem wiring the thermostat correctly once I determined how the relay worked and got the boiler connected correctly to the thermostat and working properly.
You can use the touch screen to set schedules and other information like day and time but the computer system is actually much easier instead of standing at your thermostat. The Venstar ColorTouch Assistant is a simple program to use on with your computer and an SD card to set things like the schedule for temperature settings.
I did get the T5800 working just fine and connecting to the internet with the Skyport Wi-Fi key is very easy with a little networking knowledge. Simply adding your network to the device using the touch screen is simple and only requires you to know the network security key which is part of your router setup.
Once online the thermostat will require an account which is done at the Venstar website and will add a local online weather feed to your thermostat as well as online control. You can set the heating and cooling using the the application directly on your computer, a smartphone or tablet but this only changes the current heating or cooling and not the schedule.
My son first started me on the search for an internet connected thermostat but it made sense when he told me he wanted one for his home and dog. My son bought a home and moved out after finishing college and has been living on his own but he took his dog with him and he has been concerned about the house temperatures changing.
Minnesota can have drastic weather changes and he was concerned that the house would be too hot or cold for the dog who is getting on in years. He wanted the convenience of being able to change settings while at work so the dog is comfortable and with the Venstar T5800 and Wi-Fi key he will be able to do just that.
The Wi-Fi key and Skyport app allows homeowners to monitor indoor temperatures as well as the heat or air conditioning of the house even with severe changes in weather. The Venstar Thermostat and its available upgrade with the internet connection using the Skyport Wi-Fi key adds a lot of convenience and control of your homes heating and cooling system.
I highly recommend the Venstar T5800 and the Skyport Wi-Fi key for a great control and monitor thermostat with the added benefit of internet connection for control while away from home.